Jos Duncan: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 6

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season and saying farewell to 2020 by featuring a dozen Nest-supported women and gender nonconforming filmmakers. For more Dozen Days of Filmmakers, see here.

Jos Duncan is a multimedia producer, professional storyteller, and social entrepreneur with over fifteen years experience collaboratively creating and documenting community-centered narratives. She is the founder of Love Now Media, an empathy-centered media company that uses storytelling to advocate for social justice and wellness.

Her documentary film Falaka Fattah and The House of Umoja, co-directed with Jason Pollard, participated in the 2019 Nest Knight Fellowship, a pilot initiative generously supported by Knight Foundation which supports stories in Philadelphia, PA. 

Still from Falaka Fattah and The House of Umoja, co-directed by Jos Duncan and Jason Pollard 

In 1969, when gangs were forming throughout the United States as an act of resistance and protection from police brutality, Queen Mother Falaka Fattah and her husband David Fattah opened up their home to warring gangs in the Philadelphia area out of concern for the safety of their son. In the ensuing years, the Fattahs worked with over 105 gangs, convincing them to a sign a pledge of peace, and eradicating almost all of the gangs violence in Philadelphia. As gun violence spurs in Philadelphia, Queen Mother Falakah Fattah urges today’s leaders to uphold the House of Umoja movement.

The Nest at the 41st Annual IFP Week

IFP (Independent Filmmaker Project) recently announced the 2019 IFP Project Forum slate, which includes 143 feature-length and series projects in both development and production. And we were egg-cited to see the following Nest-supported projects and filmmakers will be participating in the upcoming edition of IFP Week, September 15 – 19 in Brooklyn, New York.

Commuted Nailah Jefferson Chicken & Egg Pictures
Commuted (working title)

Commuted (working title), directed by Nailah Jefferson, tells the story of Danielle Metz, a 52-year-old woman trying to find her footing after spending nearly half of her life in prison. In 2016, Danielle’s was one of 568 life sentences President Obama overturned. Commuted participated in the 2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative (past program).

Frank Bey: You’re Going to Miss Me

Frank Bey: You’re Going to Miss Me, directed by Marie Hinson, is a feature documentary about an aging blues singer’s return to the stage 17 years after music broke his heart. Frank Bey: You’re Going to Miss Me is a participant of the 2019 Nest Knight Fellowship, a pilot initiative generously supported by Knight Foundation for filmmakers from Philadelphia, PA.

Milisuthando (working title)

Milisuthando (working title), directed by Milisuthando Bongela, is a coming-of-age story, in which Milisuthando—a black South African unaware of apartheid until it ended—explores how blacks and whites first lived together after 342 years of racial segregation. Milisuthando (working title) is a participant of the 2019 (Egg)celerator Lab.

Senior Creative Consultant Yvonne Welbon

Also participating in the upcoming IFP week is a project directed by Chicken & Egg Pictures Senior Creative Consultant Yvonne Welbon, The Spies Who Loved Me,  a thrilling exposé on citizen-surveillance and the impact of fake news. Along with being a member of the Chicken & Egg Pictures team, Yvonne is an award-winning independent filmmaker, producer, educator, entrepreneur, and consultant. She has successfully produced and distributed over 20 films including Living With Pride: Ruth Ellis @100 (winner of ten best documentary awards) and Sisters in Cinema, a documentary on the history of black women feature film directors.

Ilinca Calugareanu A Cops and Robbers Story Accelerator Lab 2018
AlumNest filmmaker Ilinca Calugareanu

Celluloid Dreams, directed by Ilinca Calugareanu, a documentary series that tells five staggering stories of courage and wonder and shows us how movies can change us, and sometimes, the world. Chicken & Egg Pictures did not support Celluloid Dreams, but did support Illinca’s project A Cops and Robbers Story, which was a participant in the 2018 (Egg)celerator Lab.

Other AlumNest filmmakers participating in IFP include Rebecca Haimowitz (Made in India) for Next Generation Sex,  David Osit (co-director of Thank You For Playing and Games You Can’t Win) for MayorSharon Shattuck (From This Day Forward) for The Eyes to See, Amber Fares (Speed Sisters) for Dearborn.

Announcing our 2019 Nest Knight Fellows!

Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to present the first ever slate of grantees for their Nest Knight Fellowship, a pilot initiative generously supported by Knight Foundation, which is focused on identifying and supporting women or gender non-conforming nonfiction directors from cities where Knight Foundation invests who are working on their first or second feature-length documentary.

In its pilot year, the Nest Knight Fellowship supports three projects from filmmakers based in Philadelphia, PA, with each project receiving a $15,000 grant for the production of their feature-length film and benefiting from the mentorship of Chicken & Egg Pictures’ senior creative team. 

“As a New York and San Francisco based organization that has supported many projects across the US and internationally, our team knows the importance of supporting geographically diverse filmmakers and film projects,” said Lucila Moctezuma, Program Director at Chicken & Egg Pictures. “With the Nest Knight Fellowship, we are putting an emphasis on learning from the perspectives of filmmakers not based in major film hubs, so we can better understand how to support them in their filmmaking goals and increase career sustainability in the documentary industry.”

Synopses of the 2019 Nest Knight Fellows’ projects are below. Click on project titles to get to know these projects and the Philadelphia-based filmmakers behind them.

Falaka Fattah and The House of Umoja, co-directed by Jos Duncan and Jason Pollard

In 1969, when gangs were forming throughout the United States as an act of resistance and protection from police brutality, Queen Mother Falaka Fattah and her husband David Fattah opened up their home to warring gangs in the Philadelphia area out of concern for the safety of her son. In the ensuing years the Fattahs worked with over 105 gangs convincing them to a sign a pledge of peace eradicating almost all of the gang violence in Philadelphia. As gun violence spurs in Philadelphia, Queen Mother Falakah Fattah urges today’s leaders to uphold the House of Umoja movement.

Frank Bey: When You Ask Me, directed by Marie Hinson

Frank Bey: When You Ask Me is a feature documentary about an aging blues singer’s return to the stage 17 years after music broke his heart. Frank Bey’s incredible journey reaches a climactic year as he overcomes the loss of his backing band to record his dream album in Nashville.

Storming, directed by Katrina Sorrentino

An intimate portrait of resolute parenthood pushed toward the brink in the face of tragedy and injustice, Storming follows the daily lives and challenges of Ken and Sue Diviney, nine years following a violent attack which left their son Ryan in a vegetative state with a severe traumatic brain injury. Dictated by their decision to continue full-time care for Ryan, Ken struggles emotionally with the idea of legacy and fatherhood lost on his son as he navigates life as a primary caretaker while Sue battles insurance and finances, holding out hope for Ryan’s unlikely recovery.

The Nest Knight Fellowship for first- and second-time filmmakers based in Philadelphia, PA is generously supported by Knight Foundation.